Free event, light refreshments will be provided.
Steve will give a brief history of Dulwich Hamlet, its foundation, ethos and how the club fared between the wars. The talk will then concentrate on the club during 1939-45, notably, the players that died. Steve will also talk about Dulwich Hamlet players who served during the war and survived, explaining how this experience affected them subsequently. Steve will finish off his presentation by giving an update as to the current situation faced by the club in relation to the campaign to save the club and its future.
Steve is now a full time Battlefield Guide, blogger and researcher, specialising in the Home Front and London at war in particular and took the plunge into self-employment some two years ago. He has been a Dulwich Hamlet fan since 1990, originally fitting in games between watching his league side, Charlton Athletic but in recent years a season ticket holder at Champion Hill. He has recently written ‘For Freedom’ which tells the story of the club’s four Second World War casualties.
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Our inaugural seminar 'Invaluable for Morale & Training: Football, the British Army, and the First World War' took place on 1 June 2017 with speakersProfessor Gary Sheffield, Daniel Routt, National Football Museum on 'For Club and Country' and Clive Harris, Battle Honours Ltd on 'Charlton Athletic's War and its Legacy'
Sport, and especially football, was seen by the British army leadership of the First World War not just as an important role in the upkeep of morale but also as an important training aid. In this lecture, Professor Gary Sheffield examines these two aspects of the history of football, showing how this working man's sport was co-opted by the military in wartime.
In November 2017 we ran our second seminar: 'Footballers of the Great War: A Cigarette Card Series - the start of something...' with speaker Tim Godden. Tim said: "There were a number of factors that led to me beginning the Footballers of the Great War series, but one of the main reasons was the desire to tell a whole range of stories related to football and the war. The medium of cigarette card design provides such a wonderful platform to tell these stories and the designer in me could not wait to begin the process. A particularly important part of the series for me is the idea of it being a piece of public history."
On 21 March 2018 speaker Taff Gillingham delivered a seminar entitled 'How football fouled the truce'.The 1914 Truce was just a quirky moment in a lengthy war, and the stories of those who downed tools and took a few hours off to meet their enemies adds little to the bigger picture of the conflict.
However, the skewing of the events of Christmas 1914, both by veterans, the media, tourism agencies and football monoliths is an important lesson in how fragile history can be and how easily it can be diverted for personal, financial or political gain.
The talk looked at how ‘duff history’ has replaced the genuine and how ignorance, bad journalism and deliberate distortion has now obscured the real events of the 1914 Truce.
Taff Gillingham is a military historian, specialising in the British Soldier, 1899-1960, and a military historical advisor for film, television and theatre productions. He is co-director of Khaki Devil and is a director of the Great War Huts heritage project. He has studied the 1914 Truce since 1999.